Forbes – Full Interview – TechTeamer
“In my opinion” is an expensive word.
What do you need to develop for the world’s largest companies in the largest cities without any degrees in technician at the age of 28? You have to make every mistake while building the company to realize that the opportunity was in front of you all time, but you could not see it because of your own ego – says Zsigmond Bodnár the founder of TechTeamer.
Years ago I also thought that I just have to figure out ideas and everything else will come with it. After a few months trying in San Francisco I realized I shouldn’t always listen myself but to create solution to the potential the clients’ needs. Nobody was interested what I work but all developers were looking for a team, thus I founded my company, which started to work on an innovative method.
TechTeamer dedicates dozens of developers, project managers, CTOs for startups and enterprises. It has an office in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Budapest and in this autumn, it opens a new office in New York.
With the last he has help from his partner Imre Hild, who has been a key figure in the Hungarian startup ecosystem and worked in the epicentral of the financial world, at Wall Street.
“Zsigmond is one of those entrepreneurs who understands that form supposition you can only build air-castle, not a secure base. He learnt to ask, to analyses markets and which is more important, he learnt to listen to his clients.”
Despite the traditional software developing model, TechTeamer focuses on the needs of the clients and the engineers. It doesn’t want to monopolize the communication between them.
“A company in this virtual world can only survive if it has its own developing team. In our model, we involve the client from the very first time to choose the team, because we want him to use them as his own team. We provide a local and a foreign office as well. And after the end of the project they can take over the entire team.
This motivates, all developers to move. The frequently mentioned problem: deficit of developers is not a real problem. Only most of the companies are not able to motivate the developers with the sufficient challenges, environment, tools.
If the project is good and we can ensure a future picture for our employees, then most of the developers are willing to change their job. Therefore we can provide the best service for our clients.
PlayBoy – Full Interview – iTeach.world
He is only 27 years old, but already an experienced start-upper. Zsigmond Bodnár developed the eBay of education, where students and teachers find each other in a virtual space.
Where did the idea of iTeach came from?
I am a typical start-up story. I came from a wealthy family, thus I always wanted to business. I founded a few company, and in 2012 one of my friends called me and said that he had a company that need to be sold in the silicon-valley. I quit my job in Hungary and we went to the USA for three months. Back then we didn’t even know where we are going to live, but we knew that we want to work in San Francisco. Meanwhile I was dating with a girl, Vivien Sásdi, who was once on the front page of Playboy. I could convince her to come to the US and there she started studying in a language school.
How was a day there?
When we went to the USA, the first hit came immediately, the product wasn’t ready. We started to develop it, in the evenings we went to meetups to get more acquaintances, in the mornings we were working on our new contacts. There people found out that not the money is the most important but the connections.
Where did the teaching came from?
Once I was waiting for Vivi in the language school. A man was talking on the phone and gave a book to me. Then a newspaper of startups, then his laptop. I had never seen that guy before. He turned out to be Jean-Pierre Guittard. He was the owner of the language school and since then we are friends. After three months, we failed with our project: nobody wanted to invest, we ran out of money, so we came home. One month later Jean-Pierre visited us and he had a startup idea. I suggested him not to set up an engineer team in the US but I will hire them here and he will have his own team because these technologies require to develop them permanently. Also, the investors invest in teams not in a product.
What was the idea?
We started as Mega English and we wanted to create a product which improves the language learning. You download a browser application and after whenever you read an English word online and you click on it, the application will translate it. These words are saved to a personal dictionary. Now, we translate from English to 32 different languages.
How did iTeach become from this?
I enrolled to the Stanford University, where I learnt how to build up a startup. After this I convinced the major universities of Hungary to use my system. Encouraged by this we made a teacher portal where teachers can give foreign language texts to work with as a homework. We tried everything but we felt like it doesn’t work. Last May I sat down with 110 teachers one by one, introduced them the product and asked them what is missing, what would make more people to use the system. A question occurred: what else is necessary to teach live? At this moment, we found out that there isn’t any virtual classroom on the market where all the tools are available just like in a traditional classroom. Now, with only one click, you can start your virtual classroom, where you can see each other, there is a chat, you can share documents and videos. Soon these classes will be rewatchable. Now you can learn everything on iTeach, from wine courses to face gymnastic.
How did you break out from the circle of language teachers?
I was presenting the system for an enterprise’s head of security, who said that it is genial, but why do you use it only for language courses? There I realized that we can use it to all kind of teaching. Here the name of the company became iteach.world. Searching teachers is also a successful story: for a 30 thousand HUF Facebook advertisement 400 teachers applied. Not long ago we made an experiment in a language school with those who stepped out from the borders of physical teaching: with the help of iTeach they made 185% of growth in the first month.